A prosecutor with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is blasting DA George Gascón’s Thursday decision to drop the office’s bid for the death penalty in the case of a woman and her boyfriend accused of torturing and killing her 10-year-old son.
“This is not based upon new evidence,” Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said, according to the City News Service. “This is not based upon new mitigation or new law. I stand by the special-circumstances committee decision that I announced to the court on the record two years ago.”
In 2019, then-District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office announced it would seek the death penalty for defendants Heather Maxine Barron, 31, and Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 35.
The two have been charged with torture and murder with the special circumstance of murder involving torture in the June 2018 killing of Barron’s son, Anthony Avalos.
The decision was announced Thursday and means the maximum Barron and Leiva could face is life without parole.
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Victor Avalos, right, father of Anthony Avalos, and other family members bring out the casket after funeral services held at Saint Junipero Serra Parish on July 20, 2018 in Quartz Hills, California. (Getty Images)
Hamami has criticized several of the newly elected Gascón’s progressive policies that swept him into office during last year’s racial injustice protests, including that “a sentence of death is never an appropriate resolution in any case,” the News
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